2018 General Meeting of Shareholders of Vontobel Holding AG
- All motions proposed by the Board of Directors approved by a convincing majority
- Increased dividend of CHF 2.10 approved by a large majority
- All members of the Board of Directors standing for re-election confirmed in office
- Stefan Loacker newly elected to the Board of Directors
- Strong first quarter in the financial year 2018
- Vontobel remains on course for growth
- Record client assets of CHF 189.4 billion at the end of March 2018
- Vontobel places clients at the center of all that it does and makes continued investments in growth
At the 2018 General Meeting of Shareholders of Vontobel Holding AG, shareholders approved all the motions proposed by the Board of Directors by a convincing majority. They voted in favor of accepting the annual and consolidated financial statements for 2017. In addition, they granted discharge to the members of the Board of Directors and the Executive Board for the financial year 2017. Shareholders approved the Compensation Report as well as the aggregate amounts of compensation for the Board of Directors and the Executive Board. In line with best practice in the area of corporate governance, Vontobel gives shareholders a consultative vote on the Compensation Report.
Dividend payout increased to a total of CHF 2.10 per share
Shareholders approved the Board of Directors’ proposal to increase the ordinary dividend per share by a total of 11% or CHF 0.20 to CHF 2.10. The dividend will be paid out from April 24, 2018, after the deduction of 35% withholding tax; this corresponds to a payout ratio of 58%. Including the dividend for the financial year 2017, Vontobel has distributed more than CHF 1.4 billion to shareholders since 2003. In addition, shareholders benefited in 2015 from the cancellation of shares worth approximately CHF 270 million, which were repurchased in the prior year.
All members of the Board of Directors standing for re-election confirmed in office – Stefan Loacker newly elected to the Board
The members of the Board of Directors standing for re-election – Bruno Basler, Dr. Maja Baumann, Dr. Elisabeth Bourqui, David Cole, Dr. Frank Schnewlin, Clara C. Streit and Björn Wettergren – were each confirmed in office for a further term by a large majority. Herbert J. Scheidt was re-elected as Chairman and a member of the Board of Directors of Vontobel Holding AG for another year, also by a large majority. The members of the Nomination and Compensation Committee – Bruno Basler, David Cole, Clara C. Streit and Björn Wettergren – were also re-elected.
After serving as a member of the Board of Directors of Vontobel Holding AG and Bank Vontobel AG for five years, Nicolas Oltramare decided not to stand for re-election. Stefan Loacker was newly elected to the Board by a large majority. "Stefan Loacker, who is, among other things, a member of the Board of Directors of Swiss Life Group, will further strengthen the Board of Directors of Vontobel Holding AG with his considerable expertise in the area of finance and his international management experience as a former CEO of Helvetia Group," stated Herbert J. Scheidt, Chairman of the Board of Directors. During the General Meeting of Shareholders, Herbert J. Scheidt thanked Nicolas Oltramare for his enormous commitment to Vontobel in recent years. As a member of the Board of Directors since 2013, Nicolas Oltramare made a valuable contribution to the development of the company. Following the General Meeting of Shareholders of April 18, 2018, Nicolas Oltramare will share his expertise as a member of the Vontobel Advisory Council.
Vontobel delivers what it promises
In his Chairman’s address, Herbert J. Scheidt, Chairman of the Board of Directors, stated that Vontobel places clients at the center of all that it does. "We want every Vontobel client to know that we develop solutions that are fully tailored to them and their individual needs," Herbert J. Scheidt told an audience of more than 400 Vontobel shareholders. He added: "Placing our clients at the center of all that we do is also about letting them know we are at their side – a partner for all their financial matters. And finally, it is about showing them that we are always there for them, be it via digital channels or in person." Herbert J. Scheidt expressed the view that the expectations and habits of clients are changing – especially in this period of digitization." This means we also need to adapt our behavior and to continuously develop our own philosophy and actions. At Vontobel, we are actively embracing change. As part of our dynamic response to these developments, we constantly ask ourselves how we can engage with clients and meet their current and future needs even more effectively. This means that the Vontobel experience is not something static but is part of an ongoing process." He added that strength of opinion is a defining characteristic of Vontobel. "Having your own opinion allows you to give clear, well-informed recommendations and to justify them to clients." Herbert J. Scheidt added that having a well-informed opinion requires great expertise and an excellent understanding of every situation. "For this reason, each one of our employees is a specialist in his or her own area. Our clients expect us to deliver tailored solutions and a sustainable performance, and rightly so." He commented that above all, Vontobel delivers what it promises. Turning to shareholders, Herbert J. Scheidt stated that Vontobel achieves stable, robust and sustainable economic success, as its figures show. "Between 2012 and 2017, our assets under management grew by almost CHF 67 billion. Our clients have confidence in Vontobel and have entrusted us with more than CHF 27 billion of new client assets over the same period." Herbert J. Scheidt stated that Vontobel’s success is ultimately also reflected by its dividend policy.
CEO Zeno Staub comments on the performance of the business in 2018: "A good start to the year."
In his outlook for 2018, Zeno Staub, CEO of Vontobel, emphasized that following its robust result for 2017, Vontobel has had a dynamic start to the current year. "We achieved a strong quarterly result. We will continue on our growth path in 2018 and further expand our market share in key markets. Our performance in the first few days of the second quarter has also inspired us with confidence about the future." Advised client assets reached a record CHF 189.4 billion at the end of March 2018 (CHF 186.6 billion at the end of 2017), an increase of 18% year on year. This strong net inflow of new money at Group level reflects contributions from all businesses. He added: "Short-term setbacks on the stock markets have not pushed us off course. We take a long-term view, both in the way we run our company and in the advice we give our clients. The return of volatility represents a return to normality. " The Financial Products business further strengthened its position across all relevant markets. Consequently, Vontobel’s result for the first quarter of 2018 was above the strong result for the first quarter of 2017."
Zeno Staub emphasized: "We are investing in our future, focusing on sustainable growth and striving for profitability. Our 2020 targets underscore these goals. Vontobel remains on course."
Further information about Vontobel’s General Meeting of Shareholders, including the voting results on all items on the agenda, is available at: www.vontobel.com/agm
At Vontobel, we actively shape the future. We create and pursue opportunities with determination. We master what we do – and we only do what we master. This is how we get our clients ahead. As a globally operating financial expert with Swiss roots, we specialize in wealth management, active asset management and investment solutions. We empower our colleagues to take ownership of their work and bring opportunities to life. Because we are convinced that successful investing starts with assuming personal responsibility. We relentlessly question the achieved, striving to exceed the goals and expectations of our clients. The registered shares of the Vontobel Holding AG are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange. The Vontobel families’ close ties to the company guarantee our entrepreneurial independence. We consider the resulting freedom an obligation to assume social responsibility as well. As of December 31, 2017 Vontobel held over CHF 247 billion of client assets. Throughout our 20 offices worldwide more than 1,700 employees service our clients.